Artist’s statement (Instinct #3)


These are the Pinocchio paintings packed to send to Berlin for the Instinct #3 exhibition.

I had to provide a brief description of my work for the exhibition. This is it:

Liam Cole is a painter working in London. For Instinct #3, he approaches masculinity and transformation via the character Pinocchio. He says, “Pinocchio embodies anxiety and confusion in regard to male puberty and what it means to become a real boy”. Cole’s Pinocchio is a rickety assemblage, “how he’d look if Geppetto wasn’t a professional woodworker”. Pinocchio’s racial identity is made indeterminate by the varied light and dark woods that constitute his body. His gender is also ambiguous, manifested in the form of an axe that both castrates and endows him, creating an opening (or “axe wound”) and an erect phallus (or “chopper”).
Between 2006 and 2015 Liam Cole directed porn videos for Treasure Island Media. In 2016 he began painting. This is the first time his paintings have been exhibited publicly.


170222 Pinocchio with Dandelion (2017) oil on canvas 77 x 61cm


4 thoughts on “Artist’s statement (Instinct #3)

  1. There are two responses I have to your artist statement. They care disparate, but entwined, and equally valid.

    The first is quiet, at your humility and easy exposition of the Pinocchio work. And you might have even dividend some of your observation post-painting. That’s not a swipe. That’s my wonderment at works which work pleasinglyvon their own and then can be seen in a way which links them.

    My second response is fuck I love you. And I’m a bit unhappy to say that that’s not a slimy hit up on you.


    • Was “dividend” a typo? Meant to be divined, maybe? Often I do see things in my paintings after I’ve made them, but with Pinocchio I pretty much had it all in mind when I was doing it, just not as consolidated as it sounds in the statement! It was really interesting to write about the paintings without referring to painting technique or other painters. And I love you too Phil. Always look forward to your comments.


  2. for some reason I never see your responses Liam. For this one, I actually went to your Facebook page to see if you were active or not, because I hadn[‘t heard back from you about that article on Dana Schutz I messaged you about – and accidentally hit the button for your exhbition and this came up. Shit on my tech knowledge.

    Yes, the word I meant above is “divined” . I’d better search again for more from you. Although it is still true that I haven’t read any of your blogs for more than a month, so you’ve nothing to respond to.

    You know, I’m fairly excited for your exhibition.


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